NE with some notable cuts: Patriots released veteran DL Tommie Kelly and Will Smith, along with vet LB James Anderson, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 24, 2014
I am extremely surprised to see Kelly cut, mainly because I felt like he brought a good interior presence to this team. Vince Wilfork is obviously the superior player, but Kelly has some nice burst off the ball, and was competent in holding up against the run. But by releasing Kelly, Bill Belichick probably feels good about the health of Dominique Easley, Sealver Siliga, and Chris Jones. If all three of those guys are healthy, the Pats should be just fine on the inside. I think this also ensures Joe Vellano will be on the final roster come September.
The release of Smith was expected, as he simply had a rough preseason. Zach Moore is obviously ahead of him in the race for one of the backup jobs, and he has youth on his side as well. James Anderson played hard, but seemed out of place a few too many times. He was also pretty bad in tackling over these last three preseason contests.
So, how’s that for your first surprise of this “cutting” season? Belichick always does something different, and cutting Kelly is the first of what will be a lot of those kinds of moves.